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Paris, spring 1968. While most students take the lead in the May 'revolution', a French poet's twin son Theo and daughter Isabelle enjoy the good life in his grand Paris home. As film buffs they meet and 'adopt' modest, conservatively educated Californian student Matthew. With their parents away for a month, they drag him into an orgy of indulgence of all senses, losing all of his and the last of their innocence. A sexual threesome shakes their rapport, yet only the outside reality will break it up. Written by
There were scenes in the script depicting much more blatant sexual relations between the characters of Matthew and Theo, but they were not filmed. Director Bernardo Bertolucci said, "The gay sex was in the first script, but I had a feeling that it was just too much stuff. It became redundant." Actor Michael Pitt said in an interview, "It was in the script and it's what I'd signed to do. But they said we weren't going to do that." See more »
Matthew and Isabelle swap places as the trio walk along the canal, after the riot. See more »
The first time I saw a movie at the cinématèque française I thought, "Only the French... only the French would house a cinema inside a palace."
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The end credits scroll down the screen (top-to-bottom), and multi-line entries are written to be read bottom-to-top. See more »
Matthew is a young american student in france, his passion for movies leads him into Theo and Isabelle, two twins that shares his passion, they quickly build a deep friendship and Matthew gets invited to stay with them while their parents are gone. However once he gets settled with them he discovers sides of both that he had not expected. While they spend their time talking and playing, the riots of Paris 1968 goes on in the "real world".
This is a very brave film in the way it has been build, but it is also a complicated movie that will leave you both confused and thinking, it's beautiful and it can almost be described as cinematic poetry, however this poetry also makes it a difficult one to relate too.
After seeing this film i am confused in what i feel about it, the movie feels very divided, and some times it is an extraordinary brave and experimental film, other times it is confuing, and at some times boring too. It's really a hard movie to understand because of the poetic feeling it gives, it's like reading a poem where some of the lines doesn't make sense, but i guess that could be an advantage as it can be seen more than once. I feel the strength of the movie is the way it challenges and explores like no american or typical mainstream movie would do, the often use of nudity and raw sex scenes would never be seen elsewhere, and even though it may annoy many people, Bertolucci portrays the scenes very beautiful and they never seem like dirty scenes, the most impressive scene is the one where Matthew and Isabelle have sex, never have a full sex scene been portrayed in such a beautiful and realistic way on screen. And there are many examples of this.
What brings the movie is first of all the very slow storyline, it barely moves at all, the whole 2 hours are pretty much circulating around one thing, which is the way these 3 youngsters spend their sparetime, it's an mysterious movie that really brings up interesting situations a lot of times, but other times it simply gets too slow and gets a little boring. Another partly negative thing is the understanding of the movie, as I earlier mentioned the movie is like a poem, if you have problems with a few lines the whole deeper meaning may fall apart. I wouldn't say i did not understand the fully deeper meaning of the movie, but i think each individual will understand this movie differently, due to the complex way it has been made. But i honestly think Bertolucci wanted it to be like that, a movie that will leave you thinking about many things, but i think what it really is about is finding yourself in a world where there are 6 billion people looking like you on the outside.
The movie is very well directed, a solid directing and you can clearly see the trademarks of the director, one thing i noticed was the floating camera. The floating camera gives a feeling of being there, it is mostly used in the first part of the movie where Matthew learns more about his mysterious new friends, it gives us a feeling of curiousity towards these two new persons. Two persons whom we soon discover have more to them than showing on the outside.
The acting in the movie is solid. I usually don't expect much from new and coming actors and actresses that i have not heard about before, this was also the case for this movie. But the acting is really good, Michael Pitt and Louis Garrel really gives an above average performance, great to see that there are still new actors who can take over when the old ones will be gone. But the star of this movie is Eva Green, what a mysteriously and unique performance, and what a brilliant casting, she is unique, beautiful and most importantly interesting, erotic and challenging. Also i give props to all the three main characters for their brave and realistic portray of nudity and the complications of sex among unexperienced youngsters.
As i said earlier this movie is very complex, it's hard to understand, and i could probably talk about it forever, but i got to stop somewhere. I think the movie is definetely worth watching, it's very artistic and does indeed stand on its own feet, it takes chances you don't see many movies take, and it's all done very well. On the negative side i think the movie sometimes get too complex and slow, but overall i don't regret seeing it, and i think that i will be seeing it again due to the complex story, it will probably bring me new thoughts when i see it next time.
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